The Danny Denzongpa starrer Bioscopewala based on Rabindranath Tagore’s popular short story Kabuliwala is hitting the theatres this week. Directed by Deb Medhekar and produced by Sunil Doshi, what differentiates Bioscopewala from the rest of the Bollywood adaptations is the fact the film is an extrapolation of the original Tagore story. Also starring Geetanjali Thapa in the lead role, Bioscopewala had its World Premiere at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival in 2017.
Here we list down five reasons for you to watch the film.
1. Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala
No matter how much book nerds criticise feature film adaptations of their beloved books, one can’t disagree with the fact that there is something magical about seeing your favourite characters come alive on screen. And if it is done right by the makers, the experience could be a worthwhile one too. And considering the fact that Tagore’s Kabuliwala has been one fan-favourite story, Bioscopewala has much more ‘scope’ of being a hit among audiences.
2. An extrapolation of the original story
Instead of sticking to the original and making a pure adaptation, Deb and Sunil have decided to take the story of Kabuliwala forward with their Bioscopewala. That does add to the film’s charm as we readers are always curious about what happens next whenever we read a piece of text. The story will be told from a grown-up Minnie’s point of view this time and it will be interesting to see the makers’ take on the story and whether they are able to do justice to the work of a reverred author like Tagore.
3. A stellar cast
Last seen in Naam Shabana in the minor role of Feroz Ali Khan, yesteryear actor Danny Denzongpa is all set to cover the full front in Bioscopewala. And considering the actor’s previous repertoire, one expects no less than a spellbinding performance from Denzongpa. He also has a stellar set of actors by his side including the National Award winning Geetanjali Thapa, Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra, giving us more reasons to put our faith in the film.
4. A commentary on subaltern culture
Just like Tagore’s story, the main narrative of Bioscopewala looks at exodus, diaspora, the need to find a new home and the desire to go back to where one migrated from. Deb also shared how the main commentary of the film is about “a regime that crushes creativity and persecutes those who assert their right to freedom of expression. It talks of how creative expression will find a voice and a way even in such times.” Sharing his reason for casting Danny in a lead role, Deb also added, “Danny’s looks and personality allowed me to layer the story I try to tell with the Hazara culture and their oppression by the majority Sunnis.” (As told by Deb Medhekar in an interview to Indian Express)
5. A tribute to cinema
The main reason for changing the profession of a kabuliwala to a bioscopewala in his version of the story was Deb’s love for cinema which takes an autobiographical shape in Minnie’s character. With the bioscope becoming a way of cinematic storytelling, Bioscopewala tries to spell the kind of importance storytelling can hold in one’s life. The film also becomes meta in that sense as Deb tries to find a parallel between cinema and life with his commentary on both.
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